32 Facts About Freddie Francis


Frederick William Freddie Francis was an English cinematographer and film director.

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Freddie Francis started his career with British films such as Jack Cardiff's Sons and Lovers, Jack Clayton's drama Room at the Top and psychological horror film The Innocents .

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Freddie Francis became known for his collaborations with David Lynch with The Elephant Man, Dune, and The Straight Story .

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Freddie Francis earned acclaim for his work on The French Lieutenant's Woman starring Meryl Streep, and Martin Scorsese's Cape Fear .

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Freddie Francis earned five British Academy Film Award nominations, as well as an international achievement award from the American Society of Cinematographers in 1997 and BAFTA's special achievement award in 2004.

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Freddie Francis left school at age 16, becoming an apprentice to photographer Louis Prothero.

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Freddie Francis began his career in films at British International Pictures, then moved to British and Dominions.

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In 1939, Freddie Francis joined the Army, where he would spend the next seven years.

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Freddie Francis became a main unit director of photography on A Hill in Korea, which was shot in Portugal.

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Freddie Francis subsequently worked on such prestige British dramas such as Room at the Top, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, Sons and Lovers, and The Innocents, which he regarded as one of the best films he shot.

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Freddie Francis next collaborated with director Jack Clayton for the psychological drama film The Innocents starring Deborah Kerr.

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Freddie Francis used colour filters and used the lighting rig to create darkness consuming everything at the edge of the frame.

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Freddie Francis used deep focus and narrowly aimed the lighting towards the centre of the screen.

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For many of the interior night scenes, Freddie Francis painted the sides of the lenses with black paint to allow for a more intense, "elegiac" focus, and used candles custom-made with four to five wicks twined together to produce more light.

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On his apparent typecasting as a director of these types of film, Freddie Francis said "Horror films have liked me more than I have liked horror films".

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Also in the mid-1960s, Freddie Francis began an association with Amicus Productions, another studio like Hammer which specialised in horror pictures.

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Freddie Francis did two films for the short-lived company Tyburn films.

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Freddie Francis directed the little-seen Son of Dracula, starring Harry Nilsson in the title role and Ringo Starr as Merlin the Magician.

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In 1985, Freddie Francis directed The Doctor and the Devils, based on the crimes of Burke and Hare.

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Freddie Francis earned great acclaim for his gorgeous black-and-white cinematography earning a British Academy Film Award nomination.

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Freddie Francis gained a new-found industry and critical respect as a cinematographer.

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Freddie Francis thought it was a bad picture owing to poor special effects and had his name taken off it.

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Freddie Francis said of the experience “I'm a great believer in the futility of war and I believe we captured that idea quite well in several parts of Glory.

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Freddie Francis provided the cinematography for the critical favorite The Man in the Moon as well as Martin Scorsese's remake of Cape Fear .

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Freddie Francis' suggested that he earned the job working with Scorsese was a recommendation that came from director Michael Powell.

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Freddie Francis again sought to utilize deep focus in order to keep the audience anxiously searching the frame for the psychopathic Max Cady played by Robert De Niro.

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Freddie Francis spoke fondly of his working relationship with Scorsese saying,.

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Freddie Francis' final feature film as a director of photography was a reunion with David Lynch the small intimate drama The Straight Story .

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Freddie Francis received many industry awards, including, in 1997, an international achievement award from the American Society of Cinematographers, and in 2004, BAFTA's special achievement award.

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Freddie Francis is featured in the book Conversations with Cinematographers by David A Ellis and published by American publisher Scarecrow Press.

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Freddie Francis married Gladys Dorrell in 1940, with whom he had a son; in 1963 he married Pamela Mann-Freddie Francis, with whom he had a daughter and a second son.

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Freddie Francis died at age 89 as the result of the lingering effects of a stroke.

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